Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Bad state of Byculla zoo out in the open

Environmental activists from a city NGO released a report on the poor conditions of the animals at the Veermata Jijabai Udyan and Zoo in Byculla on Sunday.

Four environmentalists documented the maltreatment of the animals by thezoo administration. Plant and Animals Welfare Society (PAWS) Mumbai has prepared a report, after four of its members visited the zoo disguised as tourists, on October 29. The report has been sent to the various authorities including, the secretary of the Animal Welfare Board of India.

“We found that there was no water served in many enclosures.The animals looked weak. We found wounds on the elephant. One of the workers was poking a crocodile with a stick,” complained Sunish Subramaniam of PAWS Mumbai.

The report has demanded that the zoo should be closed down immediately as the enclosures provided are unable to give the natural space needed for an animal.“Till then, the Central Zoo Authority should not give them any recognition.”

The other problem, which the report has highlighted is the issue of untrained and uneducated workers employed at the zoo. “There was no one to stop the visitors from going close to the animals. They were offering food and disturbing the animals.” 

Despite the fact that plastic bottles are not allowed in the zoo premises, the activist’s group found plastic bottles and bags littering the animals’ cages. PAWS Mumbai has asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to take strict action against the inhumane treatment meted out to the animals. 

“Until stern action is taken against the erring parties, we demand the zoo be shut down,” emphasised Subramaniam. The BMC officials refused to comment over the issue.

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